What is inflammation?
Inflammation plays an essential role in our bodies healing and repair process. Inflammation in the body means our immune system has been triggered and is working to repair or repel a foreign invader. Therefore, meaning a controlled, small amount of inflammation is not necessarily negative. However, prolonged periods of inflammation can cause further problems and this can have ramifications on our skin.
Whether it’s redness, discomfort or dehydration, inflammation can manifest in a number of ways on our skin as well as accelerate skin ageing. Inflammation occurs as part of our bodies’ immune response to a foreign stimulus or trigger. That trigger can be an external aggressor such as sunlight, pollution or even a reaction to the wrong skincare product.
Types of inflammation
Inflammation falls into two categories; acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation occurs when you’re ill or injured - it’s your body trying to heal. Your immune system releases white blood cells to help the body heal and this is traditionally identified through redness, swelling and warmth. This should subside in a couple of days once the inflammation has served its purpose.
Chronic inflammation occurs when your body's response is sustained for too long a period of time or at too high a level. It can be triggered by internal factors such as stress, an inflammatory condition such as IBS, or external triggers such as allergens. This can manifest itself in your skin and trigger eczema and other underlying conditions.
Inflammation and the skin
Sustained inflammation can actually accelerate skin ageing: Coined ‘inflammaging’, this occurs because our innate immune system produces pro-inflammatory cytokines, and there is mounting research that this contributes to a number of age-related diseases as well as accelerated skin-ageing. As we age, collagen and elastin production slow, our skin exfoliates at a slower rate and we lose more water via transepidermal water loss. So, how can we look after our skin to reduce the effects of inflammation and protect against inflammaging?
Organic Chamomile Extract
This organic extract is rich in apigenin, an antioxidant renowned for its beneficial anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It also contains flavonoids, coumarins, essential oils and polysaccharides that are all known to soothe and calm the skin.
This advanced natural skincare complex can be found in all of our products, but we particularly recommend trying the Hyaluronic Firming Day Moisturiser (under your favourite SPF) to help soothe, hydrate and protect your skin on a daily basis.
Antioxidant rich diet
When it comes to looking after our skin we are what we eat. Ensuring your diet is rich in anti-inflammatory foods, antioxidants and good fats whilst being low in processed foods, refined sugars and red meat will help to manage your inflammation. Food affects a number of mechanisms relating to our inflammatory response such as gut health, insulin levels and hormones. So, ensuring your diet is balanced will help prevent inflammaging from the inside out.
You can also bolster a balanced diet with some specific nutrients renowned for their anti-inflammatory benefits:
Turmeric has long been hailed for its anti-inflammatory effect on the body, mainly because of the high levels of polyphenol compound curcumin found within it. Whether it’s swapping your morning coffee for a turmeric latte or investing in a high-quality supplement, adding this golden superfood to your daily routine can help fight inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also renowned for their anti-inflammatory effect. Vegan omega supplements are usually made using algal oil meaning you’re getting the nutrient straight from the source